Along came our son's school payment and tuition policy. It was intimidating to say the least. I imagined someone reminding me (the parent) of various things in the tone of "Thou shalt not ...".
Here are some bullet points from the tuition policy that are worth highlighting:
- The font looked dry and frankly, it was hard to read. I thought Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst should be a must read. Once again, I realized that keeping something simple is hard.
- Writing something in all caps IS CONSIDERED OFFENSIVE, isn't it? Well, this howler was full of such sentences. They were supposed to be the reminders to parents. I was intimidated rather than being reminded of.
- Use of strong verbs and constructs like "require", "non-proratable" (is that even a word?), "absolutely no", "overdue notice", "termination", "must be" usually in all caps made the situation worse.
- The prose was not only difficult to read, it made no sense at times with such sentences as:
- It is a mandatory that each child must have an Earthquake Kit. (It is mandatory that each child has an Earthquake Kit.)
- If we do not receive the total balance due by the due date, it will be considered as late (exactly what will be considered as late?)
It is all Zinsser's fault :-).